Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Sabah working on official list of ethnic groups

Kota Kinabalu: The state government may need some time to come up with an official list of ethnic groups that belong in the "bumiputera Sabah" category for official forms.

State Secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman (pic) said they were still working on listing the ethnic groups to be categorised as natives or bumiputera Sabah and will give the list to the federal Cabinet once done.

"We are still working on it and getting input from all relevant departments including the National Registration Department," he said after launching a National Issue Dialogue here.

This action is taken in response to the Cabinet's decision during its Friday meeting, where a new format had been agreed to based on the recommendation of the Cabinet Technical Committee on Sabah and Sarawak Bumiputera Minorities.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said in a statement that the classification of Sabahans in government forms should be – Anak Negeri Sabah (Sabah native); Bumiputera Sabah; and Bukan Bumiputera (non-bumiputra).

For Sarawak, the classification will be Dayak. Others will have to state their ethnic groups in a separate column.

Dr Ongkili said the committee, co-chaired by him and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas, made the recommendation based on the unhappiness of indigenous communities in the two states as they felt sidelined by the term "lain-lain" (others).

He said Sabah natives also wanted to be classified separately from other bumiputera as their races were defined separately in the Federal and State Constitutions.

However, Dr Ongkili said the Cabinet required the Sabah government to list who were to be classified as natives and Sabah bumiputera.

Earlier in his speech, Sukarti urged all civil servants to continuously sharpen their skills in work and improve their knowledge on current issues in the country.

He said civil servants were one of the platforms for information dissemination and to correct a negative or wrong perception about the government and issues that matter.

"Information technology has gone global and everything can be shared and spread online," he said.

"Civil servants must act as our agents to ensure that correct information is spread in cyberspace, to counter lies and rumours," he added.


Source - Daily Express